Nothing trashes like trash journalism

This is my response, humble and quickly written, to Katie Fustich’s verbal bagging of Gavin McInnes.  Her Article in Bust.com

I don’t particularly agree with this guy McInnes, but I also know how to do a close enough reading to address some very biased remarks on the part of the journalist here.  One could take a speech by Gandhi and rip it to shreds if you do what this journalist has done.

1)Misogyny = “is hatred (or contempt) of women.”

I don’t see McInnes expressing this sentiment.  In his own awkward and politically incorrect way he is trying to celebrate women.  Calling someone a Misogynist has been the quick, and in this article, first and foremost way to discredit someone.  Let him say he hates women, or women’s rights, or would like to see women subject to men before you start using this word.  Otherwise prepare to be called a misandrist.

 

2)The Idaho life =  It is very clear that you view disparagingly the domestic ideal that many many men and women in this country aspire to and enjoy.  Not everyone lives in LA, like I do, where getting ahead is the reason many transplant their lives.  Most people stay close to home and live modest and, apparently to you, unappealing lives for the rest of their lives.  But, I’m only assuming they aren’t your target audience so who gives two S**ts right?

 

3)”Irrelevant View points” = obviously not if you wrote this article based on another irrelevant article by an irrelevant publication called the Huffington Post.

 

4)He has a write to be pro-life.  Having a contrary point of view doesn’t discredit someone’s opinion.  Remove the word feticide from the dictionary if you want to avoid this being a problem for you.

 

5)He said that he was sick of women who’ve never given birth “Trivializing” child birth, which means to minimize.  He is therefore viewing this as something worthwhile, meaningful, significant – the antonyms of trivial go on and on- and not putting women down for having children.  He didn’t say that women without children couldn’t TALK about the issue.  Just that they shouldn’t disparage it, especially without having experienced it.  Therefore, since he knows he can’t experience giving birth, he is treating the subject with an appropriate amount of respect.  You seem to think that being a man disqualifies one from discussing women’s issues.  By that logic, you shouldn’t be talking about him because you’re a woman.

 

6)Silly mustache = I only have to point out silly heels, silly painted long nails, silly earrings, silly plucking/waxing of all sorts of body hair, silly paint on your face…. oh boy the list goes on and yet, it seems petty to point this out doesn’t it?  It was just as petty when you, the journalist here, did it first.

 

7)It could be said that your job is useless because it’s in the same industry.  Glass houses Fustich, glass houses.

 

8)Tool-bag not hugged as a child = It is often the resort of those who lack all the facts and seek to insert their own fiction as truth to use name calling.  Be a politician if you want to do that ma’am.  

 

9)Male activism = This should be of no concern to anyone who’s motives are pure, sense of social justice is balanced and who truly believes that they are in the right. Only those with improper agendas  are afraid of opposing discourse.  You abhor the other side having a say.  I believe that was the battle feminists were fighting to begin with.  Would you have the rebel become the dictator?  If so, you are no feminist and you have disavowed the revolutionary spirit behind all honest social progressivism.

 

 

10 Things to remember, to avoid becoming a pretentious Angelino

hipster

Fusion food Sucks

Sorry folks, I hate to break it to you, but Fusion Food is just another way of taking out everything unique, powerful and savory, so that anyone who is afraid of spices more pungent than pepper and lemon can feel safe. And, because everyone is willing to eat pepper and lemon for the sake of being in a trendy spot with their cool yet fearful friends, Fusion finds a willing market. Try telling your current girlfriend that you want her to give up her love of poetry and learn how to give a massage like your exotic dancer ex-girlfriend. That’s what happens in fusion restaurants. Learn to eat Indian or Ethiopian food like Indians and Ethiopians. This doesn’t mean you need asbestos mouth guards. It’s okay to ask for your food mild; it is NOT okay to go easy on the garlic when preparing kimchi. The point of exotic food is for it to be exotic. Find the mom and pop joints, the greasy dives and corner whole-in-the-wall and prepare to be transported even if the food is served on foam and foil.

Stop caring about where anyone lives including you

In a county with almost 10 million residents, not everyone can live in Silverlake or West Hollywood. That’s why it’s popular to stick your nose up when someone says they live south of the 10fwy or east of the 110. However, remember that you’re paying double top dollar in Hollywood for that 80 year old oven you call an apartment, sharing it with three people and living off Ramen Noodles. Those people in other parts of the city can afford the four food groups and stave off scurvy. You’d be surprised how many nice neighborhoods there are within a stones throw of Hollywood or the West Side that actually have parking for your friends, when they visit. There are apartment buildings that don’t make you pay extra to park your own car inside. The hip need to get wiser on affordable and safe living in a town this size.

Get to know LA Natives

It’s shocking how many LA transplants consider themselves “natives” because they’ve lived here for 5 years and all their friends have only been here for two. It’s equally as shocking how many of these people assume that everyone in LA is a transplant. If you happen to run into an LA native born or raised here, converse with them and discover any number of the following: Authentic ethnic food, real dive bars off the beaten path where old timers spin yarns, places other than Hollywood, Silverlake, the Westside and Malibu, real neighborhoods with houses that have families living in them, hiking in Runyon Canyon isn’t really hiking, free non-permit street parking, children and senior citizens. You have much to learn young Jedis, ask and ye shall receive.

Pets are not PEOPLE!

Even if your cute kitty or pampered Pomeranian saved you from the loneliness of being far away from your hometown and family, it is not okay to turn it into Mini-Me. Watch an episode of The Dog Whisperer for God’s sake. Animals are not human babies, and it isn’t okay for you to try and show how much you love an animal by raising its life above those of people, even if that person is you. You are more important than your pet and, hyperbole or not, it’s not cool to say you’ll give your life for it. Pet owners should also keep in mind that an invitation to an event does NOT automatically include your pet, even if you can fit it in your shopping bag.

Don’t ask that question

I know you want to know, and I know everyone expects you to ask, but try toying around with the idea of not asking someone what they do for a living. Let them bring it up, or wait until you’ve met them a few times. You may be curious to meet people who can help forward your career goals, as many are in LA, but you might just impress someone even more by getting to know them as a person before attempting to pimp them out for your professional needs. There are many native and long time residents who have no desire to network, because they’re firmly established in their careers. Let them get to know you without feeling like you might be hitting them up for business. You might just get even further that way.

Don’t offer it and don’t expect it

Now, the dating seen in the city of Angels is notoriously hostile. Guys feel the need to come on strong and women feel the need to roll up the drawbridge and loose the hounds. But no matter what else you do guys, DON’T offer to buy someone you don’t know a drink, unless they just blew your minds with the most incredible conversation you’ve had since that time you got high in your dorm room with four of your friends and ironed out the rules of time travel. It doesn’t matter if it’s her birthday, and she will not like you more after you’ve essentially paid for her time, so don’t be a douche. Spend money at your own risk, but women aren’t obligated to give you attention. And ladies, if you were expecting it, don’t be insulted when the guy you’ve been chatting with doesn’t buy you a sour apple martini. He’s not cheap, he’s just on to you.

You don’t have a GAY friend, they’re just your friend

I’m not sure if you grew up here, but you may have noticed that LA is pretty friendly to anyone that has money to burn be they gay straight or none of the above. So, when you tell your pals about that great friend of yours that took you to the Abbey and got you drunk on mango mojitos, it isn’t necessary or kosher to distinguish your friend by their “gayness.” Try telling them something meaningful like how funny they are or how talented a mechanic they are, so they should call them for their next oil change. The reverse goes for my gay friends. Don’t introduce me as your straight boy….. eeeesh.

Stop name dropping

Shhht! Just stop! Don’t even get started. I said, “STOP.” Nobody cares.

Respect others’ beliefs

This is doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s worth mentioning. Living in one of the largest cities in the world with some of the greatest diversity and access to culture in the world does, honestly, imbue us with a broader perspective and appreciation of almost everything. However, you are not allowed to bash religion, just because you were bashed with religion at some point in your past, or because you’re an atheist. I know, that at 11pm at a mansion in the hills or in a rooftop bar, it might seem fine to make fun of all those backwards superstitious dogmatic types, but it really isn’t. Somebody in your audience has a mother, grandfather or uptight little sister that is devout in their faith. Posit an informed criticism if you must, but don’t go religion bashing. It’s in poor taste.

Stop bragging or pretending to complain about the weather

If you’re bragging, just remember, “EARTHQUAKE!!!!”

If you’re pretending to complain, because it gets up to 95 degrees once or twice a month during the summer, just remember, “EARTHQUAKE!!!!”

Others may have tornadoes to contend with, or if you’re New Orleans, you have God personally bent on your destruction, but the Earth is trying to do us in over here. It’s horrible! Anyone that’s been through a 6.0 or stronger tremor knows that there’s little in the world more helpless than a city of millions that’s turned into a bouncy house. And if you’re actually complaining about the weather in any way, then you’re an idiot. The weather here fucking rocks!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Education Shmeducation- An industry with no representation in conventional educational thought

The current educational approach to music in the LAUSD as well as other large urban school districts is to relegate music and other arts to the role of extracurricular activities. In the entertainment capital of the world, it is amazing that a more practical approach towards producing fine musicians locally isn’t made. Instead, music education budgets are slashed or, as in most cases, are non-existent outside of the teacher’s salary. V__G__ from one LAUSD school told us, “There is no band budget. Everything we need to function is either paid for by myself or the kids fund raise for it.” She later went on to mention that fund raising is less than ideal because the school takes 50% of everything the kids raise for the general student body fund. This means, that even when children and their families take it upon themselves to fill in where the school should actually be showing support, only half of every dollar they raise gets to it’s intended destination.

For decades, our city has hacked away at music and art programs under the white flag of budgetary short falls. As far back as 1993, the New York Times discussed the issue and singled out Los Angeles as a place that is particularly hard hit by this trend. Since then, the problem has only gotten worse and very little is written about it and even fewer studies are done to understand the impact that a lack of music makes. What studies exist paint a clear picture (Mozart EffectScience Daily). Music is beneficial and helps children become better students and excel in subjects like math and language that would seem unrelated. If a school in your community refused to offer SAT prep workshops, or simply didn’t think it necessary to expose children to the use of computers, you would certainly feel, that it was not serving it’s fundamental responsibility to its students in an age where college and computers are basic components of the modern workplace. Therefore, we can say that music education is another valuable tool that can be used to help young people excel academically and, if a school in a poor urban community refuses to offer quality music education, then the directors of that school are not offering equal access to tools that can reliably and measurably aid in their student’s success. This makes the lack of real music programs a civil rights issue for the poor and not just a trimming of the fat, that government and school officials would like to believe.

Suffice it to say, that musicians in Los Angeles are not likely to be home grown as long as the prevailing thought on the subject remains decidedly against music. Not the proven benefits or even the enormous availability of careers in the performing arts here can motivate local school districts to treat music as a valid a career path or of value to academic success. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the community and parents to do what they can to support arts in their local schools and pressure local government officials to provide a vehicle for those with talent and dedication to pursue their desire to learn more about the arts and succeed in life as a direct result.

Young Musician on Violin

Pussy Riot Cracks the Whip of Social Change

Founded in 2011, Pussy Riot has achieved the kind of international fame, especially here in America, that only a massively financed marketing campaign or an appeal to our romantic notion of revolution and protest can do. But the performance artist rock group, that has had a variable membership since its inception, would probably not approve of revolt as fashion. America’s institution of protest and social counterism is, by definition, against the principles that Pussy Riot appears to represent. It is very difficult to know exactly what the group always stands for, because they are open to members with many different political view points. What can be said about them is, that they believe in the freedom to address grievances, revolt against any government and insist that any protest that exists within the legal boundaries of government is not truly an anti-government protest. “Our performances are always ‘illegal,’” a recent letter from the group stated “staged only in unpredictable locations and public places not designed for traditional entertainment.” Therefore, these punk rioters only perform illegally, without permits and in places that deliberately put them in conflict with the law.

Last week in Sochi, the site of the Olympic winter games, two protest attempts by Pussy riot, including former guests of the Russian penal system, Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were thwarted by local security officials. The first arrest was a case of supposed theft, where no charges were filed, and the other was an attack by whip swinging Cossacks. Cossacks are a sort of civilian militia that has been authorized by the government to work with Sochi police during the Olympics. Cossacks are by and large politically and religiously conservative citizens, which may explain the violence of their attack against the group that is considered, by the religious right, to have desecrated the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. In keeping with their belief, that only illegal action can be representative of their message, Pussy Riot pursued their protests in Sochi in restricted areas knowing full well that the heightened security of the games would not only bring more attention to their performances but also bring down the hammer and sickle, or in this case, whip of the Russian authorities.

Say what you will about their politics or their admittedly socialist views, the Pussy Riot is unfaltering in its determination to break the system by breaking the rules. Living in the United States, where the protest culture is itself an institution, it is difficult for us to appreciate the subtle differences between what we consider leftist counter movements functioning within the system and the aggressively counterist approach of these punk protesters. They would certainly view protest rallies with city permits and police protection to be contradictory to any attempt to overthrow the system that is being protested. And yet, many Americans are in love with the Pussy Riot image and prove it by wearing their logos on t-shirts and Facebook posts. We love a rebel and, even if that rebel would spit in our eye for daring to co-opt their image for our commercialized and socially acceptable acts of rebellion, we still celebrate them for actually being what we imagine ourselves to be. That’s why we can soon expect many a twenty-something in America will put a Pussy Riot pin onto a Che Guevara shirt for only $3 more on their Amazon.com purchase.

 

Music for protest's sake

Music for protest’s sake

Pussy Riot punk rock show, Sochi Olympics, illegal, protest,

Pussy Riot whipping up a storm in Sochi

Pussy Riot, Amnesty International interview, Protesters

Interviewed by media after benefit concert appearance